tv NBC Nightly News NBC April 20, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
chance of showers late tomorrow. >> you know i'm going to have peeps all over my microwave when i get home tonight. >> you were going to do it anyway. >> good night. >> good night. on this sunday night -- secu one. hours until the marathon. a heavy presence tonight in boston. we go inside the massive security effort as the city braces for an emotional comeback. into the ship. divers finally find a way inside that sunken ferry as newly released communications revealed the decisions made by those in charge that may have cost so many their lives. at risk. after the deadliest day in recorded history on mt. everest, our look tonight at what some are calling the most dangerous job on earth. and the celebration across the country, at the vatican, and down under with the royals this easter.
>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news with lester holt." good evening. no marathon will be sweeter and likely none more emotional than when 36,000 runners cross the finish line in tomorrow's boston marathon. they will trace the steps that one year ago were stained in blood after twin bombs exploded unleashing a deadly spray of shrapnel. the planning for this year's race began almost immediately after that awful day that left three people dead and 264 people injured. tonight a security apparatus has taken shape around the route with new restrictions for those planning to attend the race. stephanie gosk is in boston tonight with more on how that city is preparing. stephanie, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. well, there are new security rules for everyone tomorrow. runners can't bring backpacks. only fanny packs. spectators will have their bags
checked, and they can't bring coolers. but still organizers say they're expecting a huge crowd, as many as a million. there was little to dampen the festive mood at the marathon finish line today. the police presence low key and out of the way. picking up their numbers seemed supportive of security measures despite any inconvenience. >> i just think they have to do whatever they have to feel safe. it's a small price to pay to be able to run a great marathon. >> reporter: boston police commissioner bill evans has run 18 marathons but won't be pinning a number on tomorrow. named to the post in january, he has a job to do. >> it's a balancing act. i don't want people to be intimidated by coming here so it's going to look like it did last year, but there's going to be a lot more assets that people won't see. >> reporter: twice the number of law enforcement will be on duty. 3,500 total including uniformed and undercover officers. there are more than 100 security
cameras, higher tech than those that caught the critical images of the tsarnaev brothers. then the obvious security. 13 miles of steel barricades, at least 40 checkpoints, and nearly four times the number of bomb-sniffing dogs. >> we're going to be checking crowds, checking packages, checking anything that comes into the area. >> reporter: since last year, boston police's bomb unit has been given a flood of new funding and a new robot. smaller, faster, and equipped to do just about anything. but when manpower is needed, bomb teches like derek russo are there. >> it's a personal thing for all bostonians, i think. we all want to be on front lines to make sure this doesn't happen again. >> reporter: the x-ray snaps an image of the backpack. a pan disruptor is brought in to blow it up. new technology and more manpower focused on protecting runners, spectators, and a tradition. the boston police bomb unit had a run-through with some of that new equipment earlier in the week. a couple of suspicious packages
that turned out to be nothing. they will all be on duty tomorrow with assistance from state and federal agencies. lester? >> all right. stephanie gosk tonight, thank you. from the vatican to the holy land and across the country, it has been a day filled with joy and hope. and as families gather around the table for easter dinner this sunday night, we get a look at the celebrations from nbc's duncan golestani. >> reporter: st. peter's square was overflowing today, a crowd of more than 150,000 came to celebrate mass and hear pope francis deliver his easter message. christians came to rome from afar and as tradition the pontiff had a message for those around the world. he called for an end to all war and every conflict whether great or small, he said, ancient or recent. as easter masses were held across the holy land, pope francis prayed the middle east peace talks would continue. in gaza, the small palestinian
christian community came together for prayers and hymns. and pope francis made another call for peace in syria. that christians today were returning to their battle scarred church in malula. this resident says, despite the hatred of the war, the town will recover and rebuild. even in a country that gets ever more dangerous for christians, there was reason to sing. those in easter service on board the "uss s richard," an an american naval ship helping at the south korean ferry disaster. closer to home near new york, worshippers in new york while president obama and his family attended a service at the 19th street baptist church in washington. on the west coast, thousands enjoyed the spring sunshine at
the hollywood bowl on a day marked by events bringing people together wherever they are. duncan golestanigolestani, nbc london. tensions have ratcheted up again in ukraine after a deadly shootout at a checkpoint in eastern ukraine. three people were killed and now moscow and kiev are pointing fingers about who's to blame. jim maceda is in ukraine this evening. jim, good evening. >> reporter: hi, lester. well, there was hope that today on easter sunday the three-day truce announced yesterday would not only hold but start a new period of peace and dialogue between kiev and the pro-russian separatists here in eastern ukraine. but instead, the truce was broken even before daylight. the burned and bullet-riddled carcasses of two jeeps, what's left of a fire fight each blames on the other. according to pro-russian militants that manned this checkpoint outside slovyansk, gunmen burst from the jeeps at 2:00 a.m. afiring automatic weapons and killing three
unarmed men. but pro-russian reinforcements arrived on the scene taking out the attackers, killing two and wounding several kretreated in s nearby hospital. this man said he witnessed the attack and has no doubt ukrainian paramilitaries called right sector carried it out making a mockery of the peace deal signed in geneva last week. do they have no god in their soul? after this, how can we talk to these people, he asked. but right sector fired back calling the attack staged, a blasphemous provocation. and in a statement sayi inin ii fa muss because it took place on a holy night for christians. this was clearly carried out by the russian special forces. bullet holes rusty with age and this pristine calling card allegedly found on one of the bodies. whoever is to blame, the incident has only increased the fears of eastern ukrainians like this woman that civil war with kiev is near.
no one wants a war, and of course everyone's afraid and very worried, she said. it's why she and others came today for some solace, to the very heart of ukraine's orthodox faith. a normal easter sunday would have attracted thousands to the holy grounds of this monastery. but today, besides the hundred or so monks here to pray and to live, it's almost empty. only a few dozen attended today's easter service praying for peace less than 20 miles from the barrides and the chaos. and in an ominous sign, the mayor of the town where the truce was broken earlier this morning, appeal to vladimir putin for weapons urgently. lester? >> jim maceda. jim, thanks. there is a warning coming
out of south korea tonight after that awful ferry disaster. transcripts of communications on board reveal chaos and confusion among those in charge, questioning whether to evacuate at all. and crew members were never made aware there was another civilian ship that said it would rescue anyone who went overboard. most people stayed below deck following the captain's initial orders. meantime tonight, divers have for the first time found a way into the sunken ferry, recovering bodies. the death toll now stands at 59 with some 240 still missing. our report now from nbc's bill neeley in south korea. >> reporter: you can hear the pain. as the death toll rises, the anguish deepens. one by one, their children are being identified, their descriptions put on screen, height, hair, clothes. child 55, 56, both boys.
my child was alive in the water. i had a text message, she screams. but most parents now accept their children are probably dead. >> most people already gave up. >> reporter: they gave up? >> yeah. >> reporter: some have had enough, marching from the rescue center in protest. these relatives are already very angry at what they say are delays in the rescue operation, and they now have been stopped from marching by what looks like a pretty heavy-handed police operation. there were scuffles as police blocked them. they wanted to confront korean officials looking for someone to blame for this disaster. please help us, she cries. someone help us. this woman lost her 17-year-old son.
>> reporter: the boats are coming ashore more often now. nearly every body that of a 16 or 17-year-old. divers have now found five ways into the ship breaking windows installing ropes, hundreds of them scouring the ship. so far, only one in six of those trapped inside has been recovered. for the parents, it is a long and painful wait watching the dock that's being prepared for the arrival of many more of their children. bill neeley, nbc news, jindo, korea. on mt. everest tonight, the search was called off for three missing guides after the deadliest avalanche there in recorded history. at least 13 guides were killed as they prepared for climbing season. we get the latest tonight on how this tragedy is affecting a little-known community of mountain guides from nbc's ron allen. >> reporter: at a temple in new york, sherpas seak strength.
her brother ben was killed on mt. everest's deadliest day. what was going to be his final trip because of the danger well known to the family. her older brother died on everest 20 years ago. now she mourns again. did you always worry something like this might happen, an accident on the mountain? >> yes. >> reporter: you did? >> yeah, i did. i've been so sad. i miss him. >> reporter: a husband and father following tradition. sherpas, the local ethnic group and a common last name, leading the way to the highest summit. a guide can earn $5,000 in the three-month season. otherwise, $700 is a typical year's pay. >> if i didn't come to the united states or if i wasn't educated, i would be climbing and maybe i would be one of those guides. >> reporter: this man says everybody in the sherpa community, about 5,000 in new york, knows someone who lost someone on the mountain. >> we're losing too many young people in the mountains. it's not sustainable. at this rate, there'll be no one left in the village except old
people. >> reporter: with the search for survivors now ended, many sherpa want to stop the climbing season to respect the dead. an emotional and financial decision being debated with groups poised to make the climb. >> the sherpa are going to carry most of the equipment and fix the ropes. it's not possible for anybody to climb the mountain without sherpa. >> reporter: an nbc news team had been on everest working on a production for discovery channel. today discovery announced it was canceling the program. meanwhile, in nepal today prayers for those lost and a mirror of those services in new york, a tiny community synonymous with the world's highest mountain now facing incredible grief. ron allen, nbc news, new york. reports out of yemen tonight say several drone strikes this weekend have killed dozens at expected al qaeda training camps. the strikes come just two days after a video surfaced online showing nearly a hundred al qaeda leaders meeting in yemen. the white house has thus far declined to comment.
it was on this date in 1999 that two student gunmen opened fire at colorado's columbine high school, killing 12 students and one teacher. today 15 years later some of the families visited the memorial crosses erected in honor of the dead at the chapel hill memorial gardens in the town of littleton. this is an especially bittersweet anniversary for one survivor.
the school's principal who protected many of the kids that day and has stood by them ever since. >> all right, class of 2017. smile! it's your first day in high school. >> reporter: principal frank deangelis, better known as mr. d in these halls, is making good on a promise he made 15 years ago. following the tragedy at columbine high school, he vowed to stay on until every student in his district had graduated. after a 35-year career that began as a teacher, principal deangelis is retiring this year. >> these are all the students that i either taught or i was their principal. they're all teachers here at columbine now. >> reporter: his office is a museum of memories. >> even though there are things up here that represent sorrow, but it also represents strength.
and on some of those days that i said i can't do any more, i look at my wall at '99. >> it's this club no one wants to be a part of. but frank and i, we're family members now. >> reporter: do you remember the first time sam came back after graduating? >> i do. he was sitting in a chair and all of a sudden i look up and tears are starting to come down his eyes and i start crying. even though, you know, sam is 30-plus, they're still my kids. and it took me back to that day when they were teenagers and i just wanted to wipe away that hurt. >> reporter: the memories are still painfully vivid. in the hallway, principal deangelis shows us where he saw the gunmen and how he was able to usher a group of students to safety. >> they came out and said, what's going on, mr. d, what's going on, mr. d? and i said, we've got to go quickly. the amazing thing is on that day -- i have a set of keys here.
i mean, there's 30 keys. and i reached in my pocket and pulled out the one key that opened all the doors and it got us in there quickly. >> reporter: even now he says he sometimes feels survivor's guilt but has always had the support of a strong community. >> you're going to hear family and family and family. that's what columbine is all about. >> a remarkable family 15 years later. join me later tonight for a special "dateline" as we travel with columbine survivor sam granillo on an extraordinary cross-country journey where he meets other shooting survivors on his road to healing. "the road home" airs tonight at 8:00/7:00 central here on nbc. we're back in a moment to remember a man who became an international symbol, his life story the stuff of hollywood.
of racial injustice when he was wrongly convicted of murder twice, spending 19 years in prison before he was finally freed in 1985 when a judge ruled that he was prosecuted because of racism rather than reason. he was immortalized in song by bob dylan and on the big screen by denzel washington. he suffered from prostate cancer in recent years and died today at his home in toronto. rubin hurricane carter was 76 years old. this is april the 20th. it's also known as 4/20, the day marijuana enthusiasts get together to smoke some pot. and there was a big 4/20 gathering today in denver, colorado. you'll recall colorado was the first state to approve the recreational use of marijuana followed by washington state. however, public consumption is still illegal leading to a couple dozen arrests for lighting up out in the open. the royal tour continues down under. and today it was a trip to the zoo in sydney where prince george got up close and personal
and at a running store near the finish line that became a makeshift e.r. when the bombs exploded last year, turning that store and the runners who support it into something much stronger than a business and its customers. more now from nbc's ron mott in boston. >> and then the bomb went off about 20 feet that way. >> reporter: dansu low was standing on a bench outside his shop cheering runners to the finish line when things went dark. >> when i came to, there was smoke everywhere, glass because the window exploded, blood. there was a lot of blood. >> reporter: none of the blood his. so the executive for marathon sports dusted himself off and ran inside and helped the staff turn this running store into a makeshift e.r., pulling apparel off the rack to treat wounded people suddenly streaming in. >> tourniquets, compresses, splints, trying to do just what we could.
rncht rnchtsz. >> reporter: what they did, perhaps unknowinglunknowingly, a small business into something else. >> it is about being a family and going that extra mile. >> reporter: in the weeks and months that followed, business boomed. even non-runners stopping by the shop in a show of support. >> so let's have a safe run. see everyone when we get back. >> reporter: the weekly running club booming in numbers becoming exercise therapy for many. this week one last tune-up to celebrate monday's big day at a place that made them stronger. a day they have focused on for a year now. a chance to finish last year's unfinished business. >> everybody wants to get back out there and show the world that we're still running, still the greatest race in the world. >> reporter: they're running for personal reasons certainly but also for survivors, raising about $700,000 for 1 fund boston. getting through the finish line on monday, that's got to be a special goal of yours. >> yeah. like i said, i think anybody who's run a marathon before, this is going to be the most
important one they've ever run. >> reporter: 26.2 miles to run. a run to heal. a marathon of emotions in store. ron mott, nbc news, boston. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be here tomorrow. for now, i'm lester holt reporting from new york. we hope you'll join us for the "dateline" healing from columbine. that's at 8:00/7:00 central. want to leave you with a look at the incredible easter eggs out at the plaza at rockefeller plaza. and you won't believe how they got there. we've got the story on our web site nbc news.com. good night.
a cloud of smoke is hanging over golden gate park tonight. not a fire, but rather pot smoke from the so-called 4/20 celebration today. we'll show you what's going on and why the city is concerned about the cleanup. plus, a popular south bay bar and restaurant covered in crime tape. more people stabbed and a suspect on the loose. what police are doing to make sure everyone is safe. and some parents of missing children are furious in south korea as more bodies are pulled from a second ferry. now we're learning what may have caused that boat to go down. >> nbc bay area news starts now. good evening. i'm diane dwyer. >> i'm terry mcsweeney. happening now, today is 20